Trigger Point Injection Q & A
What is a Trigger point?
Trigger points are discrete, focal, hyperirritable spots located in a taut band of muscle. The spots can be painful upon compression and oftentimes can produce referred pain, referred tenderness and motor dysfunction. Trigger point injections are becoming increasingly popular as an alternative to surgery for the treatment of certain musculoskeletal conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome, tennis elbow, myofascial pain, and fibromyalgia.
What is a Trigger Point Injection?
A trigger point injection (TPI) is an injection that is given directly into the trigger point or “knot” for pain management. The injection may be an anesthetic such as lidocaine (Xylocaine) or bupivacaine (Marcaine), a mixture of anesthetics, or a corticosteroid (cortisone medication) alone or mixed with lidocaine. With the injection, the trigger point is made inactive and the pain is relieved. At Bayshore Medical Group we work towards helping people avoid the use of corticosteroids and surgery.
How are Trigger Point Injections Performed?
Our nurse practitioner will first mark the skin over the point and clean the skin. A cooling spray may be used to numb the injection site. A fine needle is then inserted into the trigger point. At this point you may feel a small “twitch” of the muscle this means the trigger point has been reached. Then, a small amount of medication is injected to numb the point and break up the “knot.” Lidocaine is the numbing medication often used for the injection however, our nurse practitioner may choose another medication based on your medical history (ie. Saline, Sarapin).
How Do I Know If I Need Trigger Point Injections?
An indicator for needing a TPI injection includes having a palpable tender area that produces a constantly referred pain pattern. Some other symptoms may include episodic or chronic headaches, back pain, groin pain, decreased range of motion, myofascial pain and temporomandibular joint pain.
If you experience any of the symptoms listed above, getting TPI can be highly beneficial. It should also be noted that some patients may have more than one trigger point in their body that needs to be treated. Each trigger point is different and the locations vary from person to person.
Book an appointment with Bayshore Medical Group to determine if you are the right candidate for trigger point injection treatment.
What Can I Expect When Having a Trigger Point Injection?
After you are situated on the procedure table, our trained professionals will locate and clean the skin above the trigger point. The practitioner will apply a local anesthetic to reduce pain and then pinch the trigger point to prevent it from sliding around. Finally, an injection containing lidocaine (Xylocaine) or Bupivacaine (Marcaine) is administered to the affected area.
After injecting the substance, the practitioner might provide a few physical therapy exercises to work and stretch the muscles. This is extremely beneficial for treating trigger points due to myofascial pain syndrome.
After the treatment, you might experience swelling, dizziness, bleeding, and lightheadedness. These symptoms fade away in some time, and you can keep doing day-to-day activities as advised by our experts.
What Conditions Do Trigger Point Injections Treat?
At Bayshore Medical Group, we use a trigger point injection procedure to treat a wide range of myofascial trigger points, also called referred pain. Trigger points affecting the surrounding muscles cause the tenderness and pain. When touched, the trigger points feel like small bumps or knots in the muscles.
The trigger point injection helps in treating the following muscles:
Gluteus medius (a muscle in your hip)
Masseter (a muscle in your jaw)
Temporalis (a muscle on the sides of your head)
Levator scapulae (a muscle on the sides of your neck)
The treatment helps in reducing muscle pain and tenderness while alleviating motor dysfunction.
How Long Does the Relief from Trigger Point Injections Last?
Trigger point injection is a popular pain relief treatment that helps with fast results. Most of our patients experience relief from pain between 24 to 72 hours after getting the treatment. However, it may vary depending on certain conditions such as the size and severity of the myofascial trigger point. Pain relief can last for about a month, and then you might need another shot.
Schedule an Appointment with Trigger Point Injections Specialists in Annapolis
The pain caused by trigger points can escalate if not treated quickly. If you have severe pain, we recommend consulting a specialist who has extensive knowledge and advanced training in providing trigger point injections. At Bayshore Medical Group we offer trigger point injections to help alleviate myofascial pain and other types of acute pain. Contact us today at 410-263-4171 to schedule an appointment for trigger point injections in Annapolis, Md.